She certainly didn't let the audience down Tuesday afternoon at the City of Greencastle swearing-in ceremony at City Hall.
The retired Putnam Circuit Court judge not only swore in Mayor Sue Murray, new Clerk-Treasurer Lynda Dunbar and five returning City Council members but she also offered a lesson in civility.
She noted Hamilton's five tenets underlying productive civic dialogue: Mutual respect and tolerance; the humility to know that sometimes we're wrong; the honesty to keep deliberations open and straightforward; the resolve to surmount challenges whatever the obstacles; and the civility that allows us to find common ground despite our disagreements.
"If we come to value all this, then the politicians who spring from our midst will have to as well," Hamilton suggested.
"How beautifully stated about the purpose of government," Judge LaViolette praised, "and how appropriate for the City Council of Greencastle."
She lauded Mayor Murray and the City Council for their civility as seen in person at City Hall or in action over cable access television.
"It makes me a grateful citizen," LaViolette said.
There were some overt examples of civic duty, too.
Among those assembled to take their oath of office were T.J. Smith, still on-duty and wearing his Putnam County Sheriff's Department deputy's uniform and handgun; Fire Chief Bill Newgent in spiffy dress blues for the occasion; and Public Works Director Brad Phillips in a suit and tie at 4 p.m. after starting his day in snow gear at 4 a.m.
City Council members taking the oath of office Tuesday to begin new terms were Adam Cohen, First Ward, Democrat; Mark Hammer, Second Ward, Republican; Jinsie Bingham, Third Ward, Democrat; T.J. Smith, Fourth Ward, Republican; and Phyllis Rokicki, at-large, Democrat.
Getting an early start on 2012, Mayor Murray then swore in her department heads, all of whom had previously agreed to return to their roles.
Thus, returning to take the oath of office Tuesday afternoon were City Attorney Laurie Hardwick, Police Chief Tom Sutherlin, Fire Chief Newgent, Public Works Director Brad Phillips and Forest Hill Cemetery Supt. Ernie Phillips.
City Planner Shannon Norman, Water and Wastewater Superintendent Richard Hedge and Parks and Recreation Director Rod Weinschenk were unavailable Tuesday afternoon and will be sworn in at a later date.
The mayor also swore in Board of Works member Thom Morris for another term.
New Clerk-Treasurer Dunbar also took the opportunity to conduct her first formal action at City Hall, swearing in her deputy clerk-treasurer, Pam Pierce.
The City Council is scheduled to conduct its first regularly monthly session of 2012 on Tuesday, Jan. 10, beginning a 7 p.m.
At that time the Council will elect a president for 2012 to succeed Adam Cohen, as well as determining its various board appointments for the coming year.